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Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Page: 9823

Senator KIM CARR (VictoriaMinister for Human Services) (13:18): I would like to commend the bill to the chamber. I thank senators for their contributions. This is a bill that modernises Australia's arrangements for air carriers' liability by increasing various outdated caps on carriers' liability for domestic travel. The $500,000 cap was last increased in 1994. Under this bill it will be increased to $725,000 to account for inflation.

Importantly, the bill will also increase the level of mandatory insurance for airlines. The bill will incorporate the principles of contributory negligence so that compensation payments may be reduced where the victim was partially responsible for damage. The bill will also include a right of contribution so that defendants to a claim under the Damages by Aircraft Act 1999 can seek contribution from other parties who may have contributed to the damage suffered by a person bringing a claim. This bill will ensure that victims are adequately compensated in the circumstances where there is an unfortunate event of a domestic aircraft accident. The government will not be supporting Senator Xenophon's amendment.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.